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November 5th, 2007

The following is from a school newsletter a reader sent along. To all the responsible parents, school staff, medical people, daycare providers, church staff, etc., Wacky Mommy says THANKS for dealing with your lice and NOT BEING A JERK, I appreciate it.

No, we don’t have lice again, but my head is still itching from last spring.

I recommend you save this letter, crib from it, and circulate it if and when you ever need to. May you never need to.


Head Lice

A Plan for EnLICEnment…

Hello parents and guardians of our beloved students! It’s head lice season. Hats, scarves, costumes, cuddly blankets and pillows. Warmth is good. Cuddling is good. Head lice? Not good.

There is a lot of misinformation out there for the parent – or teacher – who discovers the critters on the head of a child – or children. How did they get there? How do I get rid of them? Who can I talk to?

The answers are now being put out there for all to easily see!

Our school library now has four or five books for kids that teachers or parents can check out, to tell their kids about head lice. There are also a couple of books for caregivers explaining how to get rid of them. Soon there will be a binder with information in many languages that teachers can photocopy and send home with students.

Everyone and anyone can -and do- get head lice. They are persistent little pests. Getting rid of them is not as easy as just a shampoo – you must comb and comb and treat and comb some more, washing tons of laundry and putting non-washables in plastic bags and vacuuming and – whew! It is work; several days of hard work. There are many parents at the school
who have had to deal with it. Those of you who would be willing to be on a list, available by phone to help a newly nitpicking parent, please e-mail me, and I will make that list available. Then, when you are in the throes of it, you can call me or another mama and we’ll try to help.

Some brief info:

Not surprisingly, chemical shampoos actually may NOT work well, especially as directed. Contrary to myth, olive oil, coconut oil, tea
tree oil, and mayonnaise CAN work. This is good news for our environmentally-minded families! And there is more good news! You can actually take steps to prevent getting head lice.

The obvious things: don’t share hats, pillows, combs, hair ornaments, etc. (be sure your kid has bike helmet at school, for example, so they do not have to borrow).

The other things: use tea tree oil shampoo; when someone in your class has head lice, start checking your child each day for several days. Make a spritz of water with seven drops each tea tree oil, lavender oil, and rosemary oil, and spray your child’s hair – and your own – thoroughly and allow to dry. Smells good to humans – wards off head lice!

The district website, sadly, pooh-poohs the use of natural oils (which I can personally vouch for). This chart shows the efficacy of the chemicals out there: It may surprise you.

Head Lice to Dead Lice

For really good information, I also recommend:
Head Lice Info
Alt Medicine
Hints and Things
Harvard Edu

So… start prevention and detection now! Check your head, too! And TALK to other parents about it. The school district says that there should be no stigma about it, since anyone can get it; in the same breath they encourage ‘discretion’ so that kids with it don’t get made fun of! Discretion, shame, and secrecy only perpetuate the stigma. Let’s be informed. Use the books and materials in the library. Use natural oils. Call parents who have been through it. Don’t panic. Be enLICEned.


Responsible Mom


  1. saintamyjane says

    we were attacked last spring as well. It was a nightmare. We had 2 outbreaks. Anyway I believe the chlorine from the pool my daughter swam in finally dried up any remaining eggs and we were finally rid of it. I told her next time i’m going to the public pool and getting a bucket of pool water!

    November 6th, 2007 | #

  2. Abby Irwin says

    Head lice, second only to the common cold, are increasing at epidemic proportions. The U.S. alone reports over 12 million children are infected with head lice on an annual basis, causing many parents to become desperate for help.

    Contrary to popular belief they do not look for dirty, neglected heads. Instead lice prefer clean hair, which provides an easier environment in which to lay their eggs. Head lice are amazingly adaptive, often changing their coloring to blend with their current environment. They can shut down their nervous system for extended periods of time, allowing them to play dead, even while submersed in water or the very toxic chemicals- once intended to kill them.

    Lice are more commonly found on girls than boys and on Caucasians more frequently than other ethnic groups. Don’t however, allow this to give you a false sense of security- no one is totally immune from head lice when exposed under the right conditions.

    Because lice have developed a resistance to many chemicals found in popular shampoos, parents are spending both time and money on products that no longer work. In many cases taking months of frustrating attempts and hundreds of dollars spent on the repeated use of worthless and dangerous shampoos. Not to mention numerous days of missed school and work. The only sure way to end the head lice problem is through an intensive, time consuming, nit removal process.

    The good news is- Parents no longer need to feel ashamed. No worse than a case of Chicken Pox- head lice happens. Recognize it and deal with it. Head lice are not a poor man’s problem. Having head lice doesn’t mean you don’t bathe or that you’re a bad housekeeper. They can’t jump or fly and they don’t live on animals. Head lice live on heads and they need blood to survive. They will not willing leave their warm human host or plentiful food supply unless they have an equal or better environment in which to move onto. Head lice exist and children (particularly girls) with their warm bodies, delicate scalps, soft fine hair and their cuddly environment are a head lice paradise!

    Like a bad cold, head lice will run it’s course in your child’s class, spreading from head to head. However, unlike a cold, it will not run its course on their head. Left unattended it will continue to grow to overwhelming proportions causing not only a mess in their hair but also disturbing their sleep as well as their ability to function properly on a daily bases. Additionally is the certain exposure to countless other children.

    Thanks to increasing education we are learning how to deal with the pesky critters. The one thing you definitely don’t want to do is conceal a case of head lice. Your child is most likely not alone in this infestation. By concealing it you are allowing other cases to continue to be transmitted. Equally important is the risk of re-infestation by sending your child back into an environment that hasn’t been thoroughly screened.

    It’s our goal to see that help is made available and that parents no longer feel alone. We hope one day to see treatment facilities in major cities across the U.S.; the first of which is now operating in West Palm Beach, Fl. Additionally as a non-profit organization, help is available to all children, thus reducing the chance of neglected cases and re-infestation. Furthermore by working to make educational material available to all parents and in all languages we are taking the first steps to ensuring all of us the right to live in a lice free environment.

    Remember -Lice happens- recognize it and deal with it!

    For questions or concerns call Lice Solutions R. N., Inc @ 615-227-3919/TN or 561-842-9969/FL

    November 12th, 2007 | #

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